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I came across this sample sentence (命大的例句):

这家伙命大, 车祸居然没伤着。

I'm understanding this as something along the lines of: This guy's really lucky, such a nasty car accident and he didn't get hurt.

Anyway, I'm uncertain about what grammar rule is happening at the end. Is 没伤着 an example of some pattern like 没V着? Also, if there is such a pattern, as I suspect, is it only applicable to some special class of verbs? (like one-character verbs?)

This seems like a pretty basic thing so I apologise if this is covered elsewhere here.

Also, is my translation correct? Or, "good enough "?

Edit (1): I was initially reading 着 as zhe, but I just realised after reading dROOOze's comment, it seems it should be read as zháo here. Is that correct?

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4 Answers 4

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着 [zháo/ㄓㄠˊ] - a verb complement. When used after an action word, it indicates the result of the completion of that action.

  • 没伤着 - did not get hurt/injured.

  • 没見着 - did not get to see/meet.

  • 没睡着 - did not fall asleep.

The opposite:

  • 伤着了 - got hurt/injured.

  • 見着了 - got to see/meet.

  • 睡着了 - fell asleep.

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  • This is very helpful. A further question: if the 着 were omitted, how would that change the meaning? Nov 13, 2023 at 7:55
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    The same as in English, depending on the usage, the word "伤" can either be a verb, noun, or adjective. For the case 没"伤" = no injury/wound, "伤" becomes a noun, and, renders the sentence "这家伙命大, 车祸居然没伤" grammatically incomplete/incorrect.
    – r13
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:55
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A grammar rule? 没 equates to un-?

Someone I asked said she would accept zhe for 着 in 伤着, but generally, the consensus seems to be zhao.

没伤着: uninjured, unscathed, unhurt

这家伙命大, 车祸居然没伤着。
This guy was very lucky, unexpectedly, he escaped unscathed from the car crash.

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着 here is indicating result that the former verb or adjective (伤) didn't make any effect on the subject. In this example 没伤着, 没 is simply the negation of 伤着, and 伤着 indicates the result of getting hurt, so you can also translate this as "ending up not getting hurt".

It is likely that this kind of expression contains some kind of imply, for example the sentence 车祸居然没伤着 imply that 这家伙 is likely to get 伤 in the situation. The verb can also be the "purpose" (e.g. 我想打他,没打着, meaning "I wanted to beat him, but I didn't make it" or positive expression 我想打他,打着了 also implies that I was meant to do the action of 打, and 着 indicates result).

This answer comes from some intuition of native speaker, so it might not be comprehensive, just to provide some point of view.

And in daily speaking you can also read the 着 as 'zhe' in this structure.

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Not really. You can remove the 着 at the end without any loss in meaning or fluidity.

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    That's interesting. My (weak) 语感 was telling me it would be incomplete without something after 伤. Oct 6, 2023 at 7:57
  • Have you tried it? I mean try 没x着 vs 没x several hundred times to see if there's a difference? Oct 9, 2023 at 6:46
  • That's a rather odd question. No I didn't try that. BTW another user (r13) says it's ungrammatical if the 着 at the end is omitted // I would downvote your answer now but this site's not letting me do that, as I'd upvoted it a while ago, and my vote is now locked in. Never mind. Nov 13, 2023 at 16:43

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